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Showing posts from 2015

Back to School

Well, after four years away from school counseling, I have decided to return.

Yes, I'm keeping my private practice in counseling. I will be reducing the number of clients that I see on a weekly basis in order to work 20 hours a week as a school counselor at Rockford Christian Elementary School.

This comes in the midst of conversations that I have been having with God about desire. In fact, pursuing this position kind of started those conversations.

My good friend Mackenzie, who works in the business office at RCS, told me about the position innocently enough. She wanted me to have the information about the position in case I had any counselor friends who might be interested in applying. What neither she nor I could have known, was how desire would stir in my heart as soon as she started to describe it to me.

There are things that I have come to absolutely love in private practice counseling. I love being my own boss, setting my own hours and having complete freedom over how I prac…

Busy summer

I have been staying busy this summer and not telling you very much here.

Lots of fun and exciting things have happened. There have also been moments where my heart has felt heavy and life has felt challenging.

Something fun was when I saw two foxes hanging out at a house just around the corner from me.

They were sitting together at the end of the driveway until one had an itch and needed the brick wall nearby to scratch it.

Karyn says that one is called Charlie and he is a regular around our neighborhoods.

I think this is true because Ben and I saw him again in another yard when we were walking home from watching fireworks on the 4th of July.

We had an amazing weekend in June at Camp Pathfinder in Algonquin Park with my extended family on my mom's side. We slept in platform tents and Ben and I paddled around the island, without tipping over, in a wood and canvas canoe. My cousin Warren showed us around his wood shop and explained how they make and maintain the canoes that we were e…

My half-marathon and how running is helping to encourage me in my life with God

First, Still Counting Gifts:

I ran my third half-marathon and it went really well (#1116). I ran the fastest first mile of my life, thanks to Colin and Karyn: 10:06 (#1117).

I had to send them on ahead because they just run faster than me and I didn't want to run the entire 13.1 miles with a stitch in my side. Ben lent me his phone after mine didn't wake up on Saturday morning (#1118). He even broke it out of its' life proof case so that I could put it in my running arm band (#1119). Thanks love!

Seeing Ben at mile 2 and 7 and my parents at mile 8 and 12 kept me feeling inspired and running strong (#1120). They appeared as the literal answers to my prayers for God to give me strength and endurance to keep going when I wanted to quit (#1121).

In my last mile, when I was really struggling to finish because of intense leg cramps and pain, God ordained a song to come on my shuffling playlist that talked about running hard this race in order to win the prize (#1122). I couldn&…
This is my favorite flower this week and it grows in my backyard, near the garage.

I have been waiting and eagerly watching for these flowers to bloom. And, let me tell you, they have been more than worth the wait.

The outer color is the most amazing and vibrant pink and the inside is soft, pastel pink and white. They smell absolutely incredible! Literally, I stood outside, in the rain, in work clothes, holding my purse, and kept smelling them repeatedly. They smelled that fantastic!
There are several other flowers new to our yard this week. I actually don't know for sure what any of them are called, but I love looking at them. I love driving up to the garage and seeing beautiful flowers growing by my house and thinking, wow, that was not there before. And, wow, I live here! It's like an extended game of surprise as we wait to see everything that previous owner's of our house have planted. I am very thankful to them, whoever they are, because our yard is a delightful plac…

Things making me happy right now:

(Still Counting Gifts:)

Fluffy baby geese by the river (#1087).

It's like a testimony that spring is really here every time I see them.

There are several families who hang out together and I love when I come across them. The babies are learning how to swim, eat grass and cross the bike path.


The babies are so cute that I wish I could pick them up and snuggle them.

Of course, I don't do this because the adult geese are so scary. They are literally watching for people like to me to get too close so that they can hiss and charge. This is so terrifying that I risk having wet feet and run through the grass across the path from them in order to be sure that I will not be attacked.

Even today, when I finally mustered up the courage to stop and take a picture, I stood as far away as I possibly could, while still getting the picture.


The view outside of my office windows is becoming amazing (#1088). (And, they are beautifully clear because David McDonald and Norwegian Squeegee recently…

God is my peace

There's a phrase that I keep praying, over and over again. God is my peace. Breathe in. Breathe out. God is my peace.

It came when I was feeling out of control of our finances, again. I was looking at the amounts in each of our accounts, thinking through all of our anticipated expenses for this month, and feeling a strong sense of fear. I was thinking back on when we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class and how hard I have tried to use these principles so that we can have peace in our finances. I was feeling frustrated with God for not blessing my use of these principles and giving me financial peace when I heard Him say, "Jody, I want to be your peace."

It stopped me in the middle of my frantic thought. I felt God's invitation and His strong affection for me. I felt understood in my strong desire, need even, to feel peace in my finances. I felt His tender response and strong desire to answer my strong request. I remembered that God has always been faithful …

When Creative Desire Stirs

The past 3 months have felt crazy.

And during all these months of crazy, busy activity in my life, desire has been stirring in the background of my heart. I read things that other people write and feel myself come alive. I talk with people and hear things that God is speaking and want to write them down and share. I listen to music, sing to the Lord and long to create something that will help other people to connect with God in worship.

It has been over two months since I touched our piano. Or any piano, for that matter. This is also my first blog post in almost 3 months. Crazy months, yes. But, 3 months all the same. I feel sad about these things. And scared to start again. What if I have lost everything that I had developed?

But even fear of the possible frustration of starting again has not been able to change my desire. My desire has only been stirring and growing all this time. My desire is to resume creating. With piano. With words.

This is week 9 of my training for the half-mar…

So, we're buying a house...

I know, it's crazy exciting! And surprising because we thought we might end up renting from my parents forever. But, they have decided that they want to downsize and buy something that is smaller and just right for them in this season of life. Ben and I are excited for them to finally be empty-nesters after 33 1/2 years of having at least one child living at home.

I never thought that we would find a house as fast as we did. I was imagining a long, thoughtful process of looking at older houses in need of TLC and imagining what they would look like after we rehabbed them for the next 5-7 years. Being huge fans of Nicole Curtis and Addicted to Rehab, we assumed that this was the plan for us.

This also felt more comfortable to me financially. The idea of purchasing a house after years of renting felt terrifying in the seriousness of its financial commitment. I think that I secretly hoped we would keep renting because it felt safer than risking purchasing a house and having to depend …

Burning heart

I sometimes listen to Christian radio and the announcers have a habit of picking a word for the year. It's supposed to help give vision and motivation. I have to tell you that I thought it was kind of stupid and cliché at first. Then, I picked a word. Actually, I picked two words: burning heart. This is what I am asking God for and pursuing in my life in 2015.

Before you get excited and pick a word or words of your own, please let me tell you that God is already beginning to answer my prayers and His responses seem to be adding chaos to my life. God seems to have interpreted my prayer a bit differently than I had intended.

I prayed, "God, I want to have a burning heart. Cause my heart to burn and be fully alive this year."

I think He heard, "God, please find every area in my life where I am hiding because of fear, pretending to be someone I am not because I am sure that the real me will be rejected, and living in a numb state because letting hope live in my heart fe…